Ovarian Cancer Detection
Thanks to better screening techniques, it's now becoming easier to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. The disease can be detected in a number of ways, such as through a yearly pelvic exam, transvaginal ultrasound, or a blood test. In some cases, it is even found accidentally, such as during a CT or MRI scan that is being done for another reason.
A Changing Picture
In the past, ovarian cancer was viewed as a silent killer -- a cancer that didn't cause symptoms until it was too late. Because there weren't any known obvious early symptoms or any reliable screening methods, these cancers were typically discovered in the later stages, often after they had spread to other areas of the body.
However, that view is changing. Not only do we know more about the early symptoms of ovarian cancer, but we also have a few tools to help screen women who are at higher risk for the disease. The goal is to catch as many cases in the early (and most treatable) stages as possible, without subjecting women to unnecessarily expensive, unhelpful, invasive, or worrying tests.